The day afterMemorial Day, it seems rather appropriate to remember another moment of sacrifice: the case of PFC Bradley Manning. Like Daniel Ellsberg with the “Pentagon Papers,” Manning saw wrong and tried to right it.
Right now Manning is on trial for espionage that would see him imprisoned for the rest of his life, all because he sought to tell the truth about the U.S. government’s military atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ellsberg, who also went to trial, eventually had all charges against him dropped, but Manning may not be so lucky. Indeed, Manning might have to sacrifice a life of liberty and happiness so that Americans might remember the real dimensions of truth after decades of lies from Republicans and Democrats alike.
And when you think of Bradley Manning today, consider for a moment Mitt Romney, a pro-Vietnam War draft-dodger and corporate raider, who has spent his entire life looking out for himself and his riches, and ask yourself what kind of fucked up country is this that Romney is admired and Manning vilified.
And then know that Manning’s lawyers are arguing that the U.S. government is withholding evidence in the trial that Manning could use to defend himself. Then remember the American revolutionaries, the majority of which were men of common stock, who believed that might does not make right.
Do our memorials do them justice now that we have transmogrified into the misguided might we sought to shed?
[Image: Cliff Owen/AP]